For a couple of weeks now I have been reading and listening to all sorts of reports on the so called Swine Flu and how it could become a pandemic. Family and friends have been relaying accounts of the main stream news media reports of how many people are SUSPECTED of contracting the disease and how many have died of it so far.
I caution people not to overreact to these reports.
Of the around 100 cases suspected in the United States, the fact is that only one person, a toddler has reportedly died from the Swine Flu. As tragic as it is to lose a toddler no matter how they died,it is a fact that there is only one reported death so far.
As a former Director of Emergency Management for my community, I can remember a few years ago when we were concerned about the so called Bird Flu. They thought that would become a pandemic too, the fact is that only about 150 people worldwide died from the Bird Flu.
I remember one member of our Board of Health in a near panic mode at one of our meetings about the Bird Flu and what we were doing about it, accusing us of not taking it seriously when we were putting our plan to handle it together. I remember a person in charge of an assisted living center located in our area calling me all in a panic asking me what we were doing to assure the evacuation of those in her facility when the Bird Flu pandemic arrives because she saw it on the News.
Where is the Bird Flu pandemic we heard was coming. It didn't take place.
Does this mean we shouldn't take the Swine Flu seriously? No, it means that we should use our heads and not panic. What we shouldn't be doing is panicking people.
According to a report from the Center for Disease Control, 56,000 people died from the Flu in 2006. There was no panic over it, no hand wringing, just the usual precautions that you would take during Flu season, washing hands, get a Flu shot, if your sick stay home. No "the sky is falling" rhetoric. And yet 56,000 people died in the US, not one.
In 2005 63,000 people died from the Flu in the US. Where was the panic and the warnings of a pandemic. The facts are that an average of 36,000 people in the US have died from the Flu between 1993 and 2003 according to the CDC. The conventional Flu has killed more people than the highly publicized stains have.
So why is the World Health Organization and the Obama administration panicking the public over this when the conventional Flu kill thousands each year with nary a mention?
What better way to distract one from other agendas.
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